Nurse out on bail

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - SIMTEMBILE MGIDI

Amale nurse at the Life Queenstown Pri­vate Hospi­tal has been re­leased on bail after he was charged with the sex­ual as­sault of a 13-year-old girl who had been a pa­tient at the hospi­tal ear­lier in No­vem­ber.

The child’s mother, who may not be named to pro­tect her child’s iden­tity, said this week that she had lodged a case with the po­lice fol­low­ing an in­ci­dent at the hospi­tal.

Po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Namhla Mdle­leni has con­firmed that a sus­pect, aged 34, has since been ar­rested and charged with sex­ual as­sault. The sus­pect has been re­leased on bail pend­ing his next court ap­pear­ance.

Although not much in­for­ma­tion can be re­leased as the case is cur­rently in court, it is be­lieved that the girl was fon­dled while in a ward at the hospi­tal.

The mother, who said she was not happy with the re­sponse of the hospi­tal and its staff since the in­ci­dent, said she had been con­cerned about her child’s safety after she was told about what had al­legedly hap­pened.

She also claimed that although her daugh­ter was moved out of the ward, the male nurse was later seen in his uni­form although the hospi­tal had in­di­cated he would be re­moved. She said he might have been there for the hear­ing, but her child should not have been able to see him.

The hospi­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion since the in­ci­dent had also not been good, she said, in­di­cat­ing that the fam­ily was con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion against the hospi­tal.

East­ern Cape Life Health­care re­gional man­ager Bruce Janssens said the hospi­tal was deeply dis­turbed by the re­ported in­ci­dent.

He said the staff mem­ber was sus­pended with im­me­di­ate ef­fect and that a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing was pend­ing. An in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way and the hospi­tal was en­gag­ing proac­tively with the po­lice.

“We are work­ing with the po­lice for an ex­pe­di­ent and ap­pro­pri­ate res­o­lu­tion re­gard­ing this mat­ter. Our pri­or­ity is the well­be­ing of this pa­tient and we have pro­vided the pa­tient with emo­tional sup­port in the form of coun­selling.”

He said the safety of pa­tients was of paramount im­por­tance to the hospi­tal.

“LQPH has zero tol­er­ance for any con­duct which con­tra­venes our val­ues and code of ethics.”

The code was de­signed to safe­guard the in­ter­ests of pa­tients, doc­tors and em­ploy­ees with a phi­los­o­phy un­der­pinned by val­ues of re­spect and em­pa­thy for those en­trusted to their care and their fam­i­lies.

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